Tagged: Dave Callaham

Summary:  MMA fighter Cole Young seeks out Earth’s greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 21st April 2021 (Australia), 8th April 2021 (Thailand)

VOD Release Dates: 23rd April 2021 (UK), 23rd April 2021 (USA)

Country: Australia, USA

Director: Simon McQuoid

Screenwriter: Dave Callaham, Greg Russo

Cast: Tadanbou Asano (Lord Raiden), Laura Brent (Allison), Mehcad Brooks (Jax), Elissa Cadwell (Nirara), Chin Han (Shang Tsung), Damon Herriman (Kabal (voice)), Max Huang (Kung Lao), Mel Jarson (Nitara), Nathan Jones (Reiko), Matilda Kimba (Emily), Josh Lawson (Kano), Ludi Lin (Liu Kang), Ren Miyagawa (Satoshi Jubei Hasashi), Jessica McNamee (Sonya Blade), Daniel Nelson (Kabal), Angus Sampson (Goro (voice)), Hiroyuki Sanada (Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion), Yukiko Shinohara (Harumi Hasashi), Ian Streetz (Ramirez), Sisi Stringer (Mileena), Lewis Tan (Cole Young), Joe Taslim (Bi-Han/Sub-Zero)

Running Time: 110 mins

Classification: R18+ (Australia), R (USA)

OUR MORTAL KOMBAT REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Mortal Kombat Review:

There are plusses and negatives to a film studio deciding to make a film based on a popular video game. The plus is that you have a legion of fans that will be ready to watch the film, the negative is that the legion of fans are gamers… some of the harshest critics in the world.

Mortal Kombat is arguably one of the most popular video games in the world despite the fact that previous screen adaptations have been met with scorn by fans of the games. Still when Warner Bros. teamed up with producer James Wan (Aqua Man) to bring his life-long dream of creating a Mortal Kombat film to fruition those gamers immediately got excited mainly due to the fact that Wan rarely delivers a bad film.

But then things begun to change, the film which was originally believed to be directed by Wan suddenly landed in the hands of first time feature director Simon McQuoid and big names like Vin Diesel and Joel Edgerton who were originally linked to the film had fallen to the way-side. Then in a strange move it was revealed that while Wan had said the film would stay true to the games now the main character would be a fictitious character never even seen in the games.

That newly developed character is Cole Young (Lewis Tan – Deadpool 2) who toils away as a ‘fight club’ MMA fighter not knowing that he is the direct descendant of the legendary ninja Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada – The Wolverine) or the tale of the mystical world that surrounds him.

That all comes to light for him when one night he crosses paths with another fighter, named Jax (Mehcad Brooks – Supergirl), and the two suddenly find themselves under attack by the evil Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim – The Raid: Redemption) who is on a mission to wipe out all of the Earth Realm’s fighters before the next ‘Tournament.’

With Jax staying to fight against Sub-Zero Cole is sent to further his education with the rough and rugged former soldier, Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee – The Meg), and soon they find themselves all having to team up with the very, very Australian Kano (Josh Lawson Long Story Short) in a bid to stop the evil that is now spilling into the Earth Realm.

The best way to describe Mortal Kombat is that it is a frustrating film. All the makings are there for a good action film and early on things look promising. However, the film falls away with the introduction of Cole and his family – they feel like unnecessary characters and while it feels like they were only introduced so that other characters had to explain the mystical world to someone (so the audience could be enlightened as well) it still feels like a lot of things go unsaid. This is not an easy film for those that haven’t played the games to pick up on although somehow it does still feel like a fun ride.

The fun side of this film is the character of Kano. He gets a majority of the jokes – and most are at the expense of Australians which may or may not work in markets right around the world. Luckily though characters such as Sonya, Liu Kang (Ludi Lin – Power Rangers) and Kung Lao (Max Huang – Time Raiders) are interesting enough… although to be perfectly honest all the characters are interesting other then Cole.

Visually the film looks great and pundits of the game will enjoy the fact that the director and his team pushed the boundaries when it came to the violence and gore but sadly the film trips itself up with a folklore that is really only accessible to fans of the franchise while the film seems to also forget what caused the increased suspense at the start of the film. The opening sequence of the film is clearly influenced by Japanese cinema but all the suspense and tension generated here seems to evaporate once the film becomes ‘Americanised’ and it soon starts to feel like you are actually watching a film from Marvel and DC.

Hopefully if more films are made in this franchise we may actually get to see Wan jump into the director’s chair because with his track record it is easy to see that he could make something very special, sadly though this film is just another mediocre attempt at bringing the games to the big screen.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGraths’ Mortal Kombat Review:

Kyle’s Rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Mama Weed (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Mortal Kombat Reviews:

You can read our review of Mortal Kombat in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/mortal-kombat-returns-for-the-fans-79789.php

Trailer:

Summary: Wonder Woman finds herself having to spring into action in 1984 when the mysterious Maxwell Lord offers everybody the opportunity to have their greatest wish granted… with catastrophic results.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 26th December 2020 (Australia), 17th December 2020 (Thailand), 16th December 2020 (UK), 25th December 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 25th December 2020 (USA)

Country: UK, USA, Spain

Director: Patty Jenkins

Screenwriter: Dave Callaham, Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, William Moulton Marston (characters)

Cast: David Al-Fahmi (Mr. Khalaji), Lilly Aspel (Young Diana), John Barry (Max (15 Years Old)), Menesh Bediako (Leon), Lynda Carter (Asteria), Oakley Bull (Kelly), Asim Chaudhry (Roger), Oliver Cotton (Simon Stagg), Lambro Demetriou (Max (8 Years Old)), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince), Hari James (Trigona), Tessa Bonham Jones (Lucy), Doutzen Kroes (Venelia), Connie Nielson (Hippolyta), Chi-Lin Nim (Wang), Pedro Pascal (Maxwell Lord), Ravi Patel (Babajide), Lucian Perez (Alistair), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Natasha Rothwell (Carol), Asa Sheridan (Jace Valentine), Rey Rey Terry (Courtney), Amr Waked (Emir Said Bin Abydos), Hayley Warnes (Aella), Kristen Wiig (Barbara Minerva), Gabriella Wilde (Raquel), Wai Wong (Lai Zhong), Robin Wright (Antiope), Kelvin Yu (Jake)

Running Time: 151 mins

Classification: M (Australia), G (Thailand) 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR WONDER WOMAN 1984 REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Wonder Woman 1984 Review:

Well at last 2020 has its own superhero – and her name is Wonder Woman. Over the last decade comic book fans have gotten used to having at least three or four superhero movies hitting cinemas each year. This year though with the blockbusters on hold those fans have had slim pickings. The underrated New Mutants came and went in the blink of an eye so the fans have just had to sit back and wait patiently for DC to launch their follow-up to 2017’s brilliant Wonder Woman. Now the wait is over and the result may surprise a few people.

Set in 1984, as the film’s title suggests, Wonder Woman 1984 finds Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot Furious 7), working at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. Her secret life as a superhero is still very, very secret despite the press trying to speculate who this mystery woman is that keeps rescuing people across the city.

Then comes a case that sees Diana’s day job crash head first into her secret identity. After foiling a robbery of black market artefacts one of the items, a mystery stone, ends up the Smithsonian where it is to be identified by Diana’s friend and colleague Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids). After the two women learn that the stone grants wishes they both secretly cast their own wishes.

Diana’s wish sees the return of her deceased love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine – Star Trek) while Barbara wishes she could be more like Diana… a recipe for disaster given Diana’s powers. Added into the mix is television conman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal – Game Of Thrones) who was the intended recipient for the stone in the first place and his plans see the world once again put in danger.

Reviewing Wonder Woman 1984 is no easy feat. For all the reasons that some audience members like this movie others will find them contributing to the film being a let-down for them. In all honesty director Patty Jenkins (Monster) has not created a film with the epic feel of the first film, but that to me was not necessarily a bad thing. Instead Jenkins should be congratulated for embracing more of the style that was made famous in the Wonder Woman television series. There is a simplicity to this film and it works. There are no convoluted Marvel storylines here, instead Jenkins takes one of DC’s most popular characters and gives her a simple storyline that ends up becoming a classic tale of good versus evil.

Likewise Jenkins doesn’t go over the top with the action sequences here like she did with the finale of the first film. Yes there are some great fight sequences throughout the film but there are no planes crashing into buildings or anything like that. The best sequence takes part on a desert road and captures the style of The Fast & Furious franchise. Just like the first film though the most interesting scenes in the film were the ones set in Themyscira and once again I found myself hoping that one day we get an entire film set there.

What Jenkins tries to embrace more here is characterisation and that in turn gives the film heart. More of Diana’s pain and loss is explored while there is also an inner conflict explored when Steve returns to her life. Perhaps where the film does lose a little though is the fact that while Maxwell is supposed to be the ‘big bad’ in this film you learn very early on that Wiig’s Barbara is the much more interesting character.

DC fans will embrace this film picking up the obvious nods to the popular Wonder Woman television series, small things like using her tiara as a weapon show that Jenkins is a true fan, while non DC fans may feel a little under-whelmed as the film concentrates more on the heart and soul of Diana than it does jumping from planet destroying explosions etc. If you are a Wonder Woman fan though, embrace Wonder Woman 1984 because you are going to enjoy it.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Fatman (2020) on IMDb 5.9/10

Other Subculture Wonder Woman 1984 Reviews:

You can read our review of Wonder Woman 1984 that appeared in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/a-year-for-the-wonder-woman-78378.php

Trailer:

Godzilla

Summary: The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Japan

Director: Gareth Edwards

Screenwriter: Max Borenstein, Dave Callaham (story)

Cast: CJ Adams (Young Ford), Juliette Binoche (Sandra Brody), Carson Bolde (Sam Brody), Garry Chalk (Stan Walsh), Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody), Jake Cunanan (Akio), James D. Dever (Captain Freeman), Catherine Lough Haggquist (PO #1 Martinez), Sally Hawkins (Vivienne Graham), Richard T. Jones (Captain Russell Hampton), Hiro Kanagawa (Hayato), Eric Keenleyside (Boyd), Anthony Konechny (Thach), Brian Markinson (Whelan), Gardiner Millar (Fitzgerald), Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody), Ty Olsson (Jainway), Victor Rasuk (Sergeant Tre Morales), Patrick Sabongui (Lieutenant Commander Marcus Waltz), Al Sapienza (Huddleston), David Strathairn (Admiral William Stenz), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ichiro Serizawa), Ken Yamamura (Takashi)

Runtime: 123 mins

Classification: M

OUR GODZILLA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Godzilla review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Stars(3)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Godzilla review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Stars(3)

David Griffiths:

Fans of Godzilla films want and deserve a good Godzilla film, after all the poor suffering souls have nothing but a bad taste in their mouth after the 1998 Matthew Broderick led disaster. Well now comes the 2014 update and on the surface it seems that in a rare oddity Hollywood has finally picked the right director to be at the helm of a major project. Anyone that can remember just how good Monsters was will attest to the fact that Gareth Edwards knows how to make a damn fine ‘monster flick.’

This time around we find Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston – Get A Job, Cold Comes The Night) alarmed at the seismic activity going on around the Japanese nuclear power plant where he works. To his surprise nobody seems to take him seriously and the result is a catastrophe that results in the death of many other workers including his wife.

Flash-forward to fifteen years later and Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Kick-Ass 2, Anna Karenina) is now a bomb expert in the military. He is also married to emergency room nurse, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen – Oldboy, In Secret) and has a young son that his military service takes him away from far to often. It is therefore understandable that he is frustrated when on a rare time at home he receives a call from Japanese authorities informing him that Joe has been arrested entering into a quarantined zone.

After bailing his father out Ford learns that his father believes that the authorities are keeping something secret inside the ‘zone’ and he wants to get inside to find his old data and to see what is going on. Reluctantly Ford follows his father and soon learns that experts, including Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins – The Double, Blue Jasmine) and Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe – Unforgiven, Inception) have been keeping a very large secret that is about to unleash itself onto the world.

It is easy to see Edwards’ handy work all over Godzilla. His monster sequences are well worth the price of admission, especially the ‘monster fights’ and at times he isn’t afraid to pull the focus away from these battles to show what the humans such as Ford are doing at that time. However while these sequences do look impressive as a whole Godzilla is held back from becoming a great film because of several reasons.

One of the major flaws of Godzilla is the characterisation. While you hardly go into a ‘monster flick’ expecting an epic back story for each character it is disappointing to find that a lot of the characters here in Godzilla are dangerously one dimensional. For example Dr. Serizawa is one of the more interesting characters although very little is learnt about him, then there is the massive under use of Elle, which results in the crime of seeing an award winning actress like Elizabeth Olsen become little more than scenery as she simple watches monsters go by with her mouth open like a Laughing Clown. The lack of characterization causes a problem later on in the film when the audience begins to realise that they really don’t care whether some characters survive the slaughter or not.

Of course though one of the most important things for a film like Godzilla however is what do the monsters actually look? Well Godzilla himself looks fine, Edwards’ team has actually done a pretty good throw back to the Godzilla of old. The same however cannot be said for the other Kaiju monsters that appear in the film, call me an old-fogey but somehow they seem just a little bit too metallic and robotic like for me. Their look makes them look very fake while on the other hand Godzilla’s natural look makes it almost believable that such creatures do live somewhere out there under the sea.

The decent storyline however does allow some of the actors to show their worth though. Bryan Cranston is given some moments to show his dramatic range, a welcome relief after the teaser footage they showed us a couple of months ago made it look like he might have been going for a comedic portrayal of his character, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson pulls on a serious face and actually shows that he may have what it takes to become an action hero in the future. As previously mentioned though some of the cast – especially Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe – are completely wasted in their one dimensional roles.

Godzilla is certainly far from a bad film. The good storyline and decent action sequences make it a worthy watch and Gareth Edwards should be congratulated for that, but sadly some elements of the script will still leave some serious film lovers wanting more.

 

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  Godzilla (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Godzilla′: Nil

Trailer:

Summary:The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory, where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time – five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, more than enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary they seek revenge from.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th August, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th December, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Simon West

Screenwriter: David Agosto, Dave Callaham (characters), Ken Kaufman, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Wenk

Cast: Scott Adkins (Hector), Charisma Carpenter (Lacy), Randy Couture (Toll Road), Terry Crews (Hale Caesar), Novak Djokovic (himself), Liam Hemsworth (Bill The Kid), Jet Li (Yin Yang), Wenbo Li (Dr. Zhou), Dolph Lundgren (Gunnar Jensen), Alexander Moskov (Stephan), Chuck Norris (Booker), Amanda Ooms (Pilar), Arnold Schwarznegger (Trench), Sylvester Stallone (Barney Ross), Jason Statham (Lee Christmas), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Vilain), Denis Vasilev (Jarek), Bruce Willis (Church), Nan Yu (Maggie), George Zlatarev (Bojan)

Runtime: 103 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Expendables 2’ Review:

There are lots of explosions and lots of blood splatter!!! Is there anything else you really need to know before you go to see The Expendables 2. Nobody knows what action fans want as much as Sylvester Stallone (Zookeeper, The Expendables), who not only stars in The Expendables 2 but was one of the co-writers, so there is little wonder that he has created what turns out to be one of the action films of the year.

For those who didn’t see the first film The Expendables are a bunch of mecenries that basically live by the rule ‘no job too hard’. The Expendables 2 sees the old gang of Barney Ross ( Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham – Safe, Killer Elite)), Yin Yang (Jet Li – The Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate, The Sorcerer And The White Snake), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren – Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, One In The Chamber), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews – TV’S The Newsroom & Are We There Yet?) and Toll Road (Randy Couture – Hijacked, Set Up) all back together and this time they have a new sniper on their team, Bill The Kid (Liam Hemsworth – The Hunger Games, The Last Song).

After recent successes the team are on a high but Barney soon finds himself having to accept a mission in a bid to settle his debt with Government Agent Church (Bruce Willis – Fire With Fire, Moonrise Kingdom) who provides them with a suitable weapon to get the job done, Maggie (Nan Yu – Design Of Death, Yu Shi Shang Tong Ju). But the easy mission turns to tragedy and soon the team find themselves having to take on the evil, Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme – 6 Bullets, Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning) in order to get the mission done. And with the likes of Booker (Chuck Norris – The Cutter, Walker Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire) and Trench (Arnold Schwarznegger – The Expendables, Around The World In 80 Days) only too happy to help out there is going to be bloodshed.

It may come as a surprise to many but the storyline of The Expendables 2 actually ain’t that bad, not that surprising when you remember that Sylvester Stallone has won an Oscar for Screenwriting in the past. Of course the screenplay for The Expendables 2 won’t win any Oscars but it is more than enough to keep the audience’s attention and surprisingly there are some actual touching moments.

But of course people aren’t watching The Expendables 2 for the story, so how is the action? Well take any action film that you have seen in the past and multiple the amount of blood splatter and explosions that contained by ten. The action sequences do look good, but it does seem a tad lazy that characters just seem to turn up at the right time to ‘save the day’, and I must admit that the Stallone vs Van Damme epic battle was a little short for my liking.

Still The Expendables 2 does what it sets out to do and that is entertain. If you are an action junkie this is one film you don’t want to miss this year.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Expendables 2’: http://www.helium.com/items/2366302-movie-reviews-the-expendables-2-2012.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: The Expendables 2 (2012) on IMDb